We turned 5 years old last Friday as a married couple.
It was a funny anniversary celebration. I like to call it “love in the storm”.
I was having a pretty tough week. Everything at work didn’t seem to be running in order. Then Javier was diagnosed with the dreaded HFMD. (Our first case in the home.) My mum had fallen ill too, so I took the graveyard shift caring for Javier and scraped by some touchy work issues with lots of caffeine and prayer.
To be honest, I didn’t feel at all in a celebratory mood. I think he may have felt the same. But celebrate we did. We felt it was important to get some time out. To de-stress a little, and re-focus on our marriage.
We went for breakfast at our favourite brunch place. (I love their turkish bread with vegemite.)
After breakfast, we wandered around the stores and spotted a sign that reminded us of our honeymoon.
And cards that remind us to say our I love you’s and our Ps and Qs.
We held hands and relaxed at one of our favourite chillout spots. We did devotion, and shared our innermost thoughts. You said you wished to build your knowledge in a specific area of work. I said I wished for more time to write and journal (as usual), and more time to focus on growing spiritually, and to teach our children about God.
Later that day, we renewed our vows at Fort Canning, where we held our wedding. It’s something that we do every year. As we say the same words year after year, it’s almost as if the meaning sinks in further into our hearts and starts to form roots of its own.
It wasn’t fly-me-to-the-moon-romantic. There were no flowers, no expensive dinners. The day was peppered with work-related calls and emails. It also got a little hot and balmy in the afternoon. Yet at the end of the day, I felt lighter, happier, perhaps just glad that we’d managed to spend the day together. That we’d stolen away from the crazy days we were having.
It’s funny how a day spent with you can help me regain that sense of sanity and balance.
The reason why we celebrate anniversaries and birthdays and other special occasions is to look back on the road we’ve travelled and marvel at how far we’ve come.
Another reason is to appreciate the now – to see what we have as it is, beauty in the mess and mess in the beauty, to be aware that what we have is fragile, that our marriage and family needs a lot of work in order to thrive.
We also take the time to articulate the future we want to build as a family. And finally, to thank the One who continually enables our weak human hearts to love and keep loving through this life-long journey.
This celebration, I felt it was a struggle to shift my eyes from the storm clouds and rushing waves to focus on US. Just us. Not even the kids. (Well okay maybe just a bit of kids.)
And when I did that, I saw that there is a lot to be grateful for, even though our hearts are not as still as they should be.
Then I realise that this is love. Love is being grateful even through the trials of life. Love is clinging onto each other when we’re walking down a rocky path. Love is supporting the other even when it feels like the sky is falling.
Thank you for loving me ever so fully.
You have helped me become the wife, mum, and woman that I am today.
You have helped our family to thrive and grow.
You have provided for us selflessly with those nights of hard work.
For you, I will always be grateful.
And to you, I pledge my love.